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Top Ten Bestselling Australian Authors (all genres)

Siren

1. Siren By Tara Moss

buy_from_fishpondMak Vanderwall - beautiful, street-wise daughter of a cop, graduate in forensic psychology, and now PI - is hired by a widowed mother to track down her missing nineteen-year-old son. Has he come to harm? Or has he run off with a bizarre troupe of shady French cabaret artists sweeping through Australia? Has the dark beauty of the burlesque, the magic, the mind-bending contortion, beguiled him? Or has he been seduced by the mysterious and amoral older woman who has a terrifying starring role in the troupe's modern performances of the Grand Guignol 'Theatre of Fear', famous in Paris in the early 1900s? And what of the rumours of violence and tragedy that have plagued the troupe for the past decade? Is their horrifying past fact or fiction? More

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2. Bad Behaviour By Liz Byrski

Bad BehaviourOne mistake can change a life forever. Zoe is living a conventional suburban buy_from_fish_pondlife in Fremantle. She works, she gardens and she loves her supportive husband Archie and their three children. But the arrival of a new woman into her son Daniel's life unsettles Zoe. Suddenly she is feeling angry and hurt, and is lashing out at those closest to her. In Sussex, England, Julia is feeling nostalgic as she nurses her best friend through the last painful stages of cancer. Her enthusiastic but dithering husband Tom is trying to convince Julia to slow down. Although she knows Tom means well, Julia cannot help but feel frustrated that he is pushing her into old age before she is ready. But she knows she is lucky to have him. She so nearly didn't... These two women's lives have been shaped by the decisions they made back in 1968 – when they were young, idealistic and naive. In a world that was a whirl of politics and protest, consciousness raising and sexual liberation, Zoe and Julia were looking for love, truth and their own happy endings. They soon discover that life is rarelyIvory that simple, as their bad behaviour leads them down paths that they can never turn back from. More

3. Ivory By Tony Park

buy_from_fishpondAlex Tremain is a pirate in trouble. He's facing a mounting tide of debts and his crew of modern-day buccaneers, a multinational band of ex-military cut-throats, is getting restless. Then, a raid on a wildlife smuggling ship sets the Chinese triads after him. What Alex really needs is one last big heist. More

4. Blood Born By Kathryn Fox

Blood Bornbuy_from-fishpond

For pathologist and forensic physician Dr Anya Crichton, the death of a gang rape victim hours before she is due to give evidence at trial is more than only a tragedy. The psychotic Harbourn brothers, the girl's accused attackers, now look like getting away with two horrific crimes. But the Harbourns' trail of destruction doesn't end there. When two sisters are brutally assaulted and one of them is killed, Anya begins working round the clock to catch the Harbourns and nail their ringleader, the deviously clever Gary. With the help of Detective Kate Farrer and star litigator Dan Brody, she begins to discover just how twisted this family really is, and just what they're capable of. In what will become Dr Anya Crichton's hardest case yet, she must piece together the evidence before the killer's attention is turned on her... More

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5. The People's Train

By Tom KeneallyThe People's Train

Artem Samsurov, a charismatic protege of Lenin and an ardent socialist, reaches sanctuary in Australia BUY_BUTTONafter escaping his Siberian labour camp and making a long, perilous journey via Japan. But Brisbane in 1911 turns out not to be quite the workers' paradise he was expecting, or the bickering local Russian emigres a model of brotherhood.

As Artem helps organise a strike and gets dangerously entangled in the death of another exile, he discovers that corruption, repression and injustice are almost as prevalent in Brisbane as at home. Yet he finds fellow spirits in a fiery old suffragette and a distractingly attractive married lawyer, who undermines his belief that a revolutionary cannot spare the time for relationships. When the revolution dawns and he returns to Russia, will his ideals hold true?

Based on a true story, THE PEOPLE'S TRAIN brings the past alive and makes it resonate in the present. With all the empathy and storytelling skills that he brought to bear in SCHINDLER'S ARK, Tom Keneally takes us to the heart of the Russian Revolution through the dramatic life of an unknown, inspiring figure. Like Schindler, Samsurov was no saint, but he was an individual who played a vital role in world-changing events. More

6. Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men

Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent MenBy Peter FitzSimons

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Known to millions simply as 'Smithy', Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was one of Australia's true twentieth-century legends. In an era in which aviators were superstars, Smithy was among the greatest and, throughout his amazing career, his fame in Australia was matched only by that of Don Bradman. Among other achievements, Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly across the Pacific, he broke the record for the fastest flight from England to Australia, and at one point he held more long-distance flying records than anyone else on the planet. If that wasn't enough, Smithy was also a war hero, receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in action after being shot - and losing three toes â during one of many flying missionsduring World War I. Smithy was not the lone adventurer of the skies. Early aviation drew to it a company of daredevils who all challenged gravity and fear. This comprehensive biography, written with typical flair by Peter FitzSimons, covers the triumphs and tragedies of not only Kingsford Smith's daring and controversial life but also those of his companion aviators. More

The Slap

7. The Slap

By Christos Tsiolkas

buy_buttonAt a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye on to that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage .. more

8. James Halliday Australian Wine Companion: 2010

By James HallidayJames Halliday Australian Wine Companion: 2010

James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion is the No.1 bestselling guide to wineries and wine in Abuyustralia. Keenly anticipated by winemakers, faithful collectors and wine lovers alike, the 2010 edition has been completely revised and updated to bring you up-to-the-minute information. Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine via detailed tasting notes, each of which includes vintage-specific ratings and advice on optimal drinking, as well as each wine's closure, alcohol content and price. He provides important details on wineries - including opening times, contact details, vineyard sizes and web addresses - in addition to biographies on each, and information about the winemakers. An indispensable reference for all enthusiasts of Australian wine, this is a must-have for anyone planning to visit a wine-growing region or to replenish their cellar or wine rack. It is the most authoritative and entertaining guide to Australian wine. More

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9. The Night My Bum Dropped

By Gretel Killeen

Ten years on from her bestselling collection of musings, Visible Panty Line, Gretel Killeen takes a long, hard and hilarious lThe Night My Bum Droppedbuyook at herself in the wake of some big life changes. Gretel has since worked as a voice actor, columnist, radio presenter and was the host of Big Brother Australia for seven years.

In this gleefully exaggerated memoir, Gretel Killeen looks at the big questions that we're confronted with in times of calamity: what the hell is life all about and what on earth are we supposed to do with it? Yes, it's the female midlife crisis for the generation who were meant to be superwomen, able to run a global empire, raise a family, help a crippled dog give birth and do the ironing while having multiple orgasms! With warmth, wisdom and wicked wit, Gretel seeks advice from old friends ('life sucks and then you die'), new friends ('life is a life- changing experience') and family ('maybe you should rent out your big bum as a kind of mobile advertising space'), taking us on a hilarious yet poignant ride as she stands on top of the hill that she's not only climbed but has also built, looks at the view and wonders, "Is this all there is?" More

10. Battlelines

A Conservative's ManifestoBy Tony Abbott

buyTony Abbott explains his personal political faith and offers it as a way forward for the Liberal and National parties. Starting with an account of human nature and Australian society, Abbott develops a series of political positions that the conservative parties could adopt to rehabilitate themselves with the Australian people. He doesn't shirk the big questions: What went wrong for the Howard government and did the electorate reject its values or just its leader? What does it mean to be a political conservative in the post-Howard era and how can conservatives and liberals live together inside the same political party? How can a small government party support a big foreign policy agenda and a nationalist party staunchly support traditional allies? Without pollie-waffle, Abbott outlines the Australia he would like to see in twenty years' time. More

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Other Bestsellers

Breath

Breath

By Tim Winton

buyWhen paramedic Bruce Pike arrives too late to save a boy found hanged in his bedroom he senses immediately that this lonely death is an accident. Pike knows the difference between suicide and misadventure. He understands only too well the forces that can propel a kid toward oblivion. Not just because he's an ambulanceman but because of the life he's lived, the boy he once was, addicted to extremes, flirting with death, pushing every boundary in the struggle to be extraordinary, barely knowing where or how to stop. So begins a story about the damage you do to yourself when you're young and think you're immortal. In his first novel for seven years, Tim Winton has achieved a new level of mastery. Breath confirms him as one of the world's finest storytellers, whose work is both accessible and profound, relentlessly gripping and deeply moving. More

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The Boat

by Nam Le - Winner NSW Premier's Book of the Year Award

The Boat

Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. He has previously received the Pushcart Prize, the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, and fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Phillips Exeter Academy. His fiction has appeared in venues including Zoetrope: All-buy_buttonStory, A Public Space, Conjunctions, One Story, NPR's, Selected Shorts and the Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, Best Australian Stories, and Pushcart Prize anthologies. He is the fiction editor of the Harvard Review.

The Boat is a stunningly inventive, deeply moving fiction debut: stories that take the readers from the slums of Colombia to the streets of Tehran; from New York City to Iowa City; from a tiny fishing village in Australia to a foundering vessel in the South China Sea, in a masterful display of literary virtuosity and feeling. In the opening story, "Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," a young writer is urged by his friends to mine his father's experiences in Vietnam — and what seems at first a satire on turning one's life into literary commerce becomes a transcendent exploration of homeland, and the ties between father and son.

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Never Say Die

Never Say Die (RIP Dr. O' Brien)

By Chris O'Brien

buy_buttonIn November 2006, Chris O'Brien was diagnosed with glioblastoma multi-forme, a malignant and extremely aggressive form of cancer. As one of the country's most eminent cancer specialists, O'Brien knows that the chances of beating the brain tumour are tiny; even with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation few sufferers survive past 12 months. Nevertheless, he is determined to beat the odds. With the support of his close family and an international network of surgeons, friends and well-wishers, O'Brien took the option of radical brain surgery under the supervision of his friend Dr Charlie Teo. His level of fitness, optimistic outlook and relative youth (he was 55 when diagnosed) give him a shot at survival. Funny, charming and fearless, O'Brien said he was not afraid to die. Here, in his inspiring memoir, he takes a look back over his life and the forces which shaped him - from his modest beginnings as part of a typical Australian-Irish family, to his early years as a doctor and football player, to life, "living on the smell of an oily rag" as a young doctor with a family in London and the US, through to the shocking news which literally changed his life. More | top

Ransom

Ransom

By David Malouf

buy_buttonWith learning worn lightly and in his own lyrical language, David Malouf retells Homer's Iliad. Focusing on the unbreakable bonds between men - Priam and Hector, Patroclus and Achilles, Priam and the cart driver hired to retrieve Hector's body. Pride, grief, brutality, love and neighbourliness are explored. And, this retelling has a few surprises. The minute you finish this novel you will want to return to the beginning and start all over again.

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Born or Bred?: Martin Bryant - the Making of a Mass Murderer

Born or Bred?

Martin Bryant - the Making of a Mass Murderer

By Robert Wainwright, Paola Totaro

Martin Bryant murdered 35 people and injured 37 during the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, a crime for which he is serving 35 life sentences in Hobart's Risdon Prison. It remains one of the largest single massacres by an individual and was the catalyst for Australia's gun law reform. Because Byrant pleaded guilty the case never went to trial and the full story of this tragedy was never released. Now Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, both senior news writers with The Sydney Morning Herald, have spoken to Bryant's mother, his psychiatrists and others who knew him. They have gained access to confession tapes made just after the murders and explored Bryant's family history dating back 150 years. With this exclusive insight the authors have pieced together the never-before-heard story of Bryant's life leading up to the massacre and what happened that fateful day. Their findings bring important issues concerning nature or nurture to light, and Born or Bred tells the compelling story of the tragedy Australia will never forget.

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American Journeys

American Journeys

by Don Watson

buy_buttonOnly in America - the most powerful democracy on earth, home to the best and worst of everything - are the most extreme contradictions possible. In a series of journeys, acclaimed author Don Watson set out to explore the nation that has influenced him more than any other. Travelling by rail gave Watson a unique and seductive means of peering into the United States, a way to experience life with its citizens: long days with the American landscape and American towns and American history unfolding on the outside, while inside a tiny particle of the American people talked among themselves. Watson's experiences are profoundly affecting: he witnesses the terrible aftermath of Hurricane explores the savage history of the Deep South, the heartland of the Civil War and journeys to the remarkable wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. Yet it is through the people he meets that Watson discovers the incomparable genius of America, its optimism, sophistication and riches - and also its darker side, its disavowal of failure and uncertainty. Beautifully written, with gentle power and sly humour, American Journeys investigates the meaning of the United States: its confidence, its religion, its heroes, its violence, and its material obsessions. The things that make America great are also its greatest flaws.

People of the Book

People of the Book

by Geraldine Brooks , HarperCollins Publishers Australia

People of the Book crosses continents and centuries to bring stories of hope amidst darkness, compassion amidst cruelty, all bound together by the discoveries made by a young Australian woman restoring an ancient Hebrew book. When Hanna Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript that has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring the Sarajevo Haggadah -- a Jewish prayer book -- to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival. But the trip will also set in motion a series of events that threaten to rock Hanna's orderly life, including her encounter with Ozren Karamen, the young librarian who risked his life to save the book. As meticulously researched as all of Brooks' previous work, People of the Book is a gripping and moving novel about war, art, love and survival.

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Rupert's Adventures in China: How Murdoch Lost a Fortune and Found a Wife Funny Business: The Rise and Fall of Steve Vizard (Allen & Unwin)buy_button

by Leonie Wood

Steve Vizard had it all: wealth, fame and power, in equal and impressive proportions ...Once a popular, fast-quipping TV comedian and Gold Logie winner, a lawyer and much-loved family man who had even been crowned Father of the Year', Vizard had become a trusted community hero. On the boards of countless companies, including Telstra, Vizard seemed to be involved in every aspect of public and corporate life. And through the charitable Vizard Foundation, he was seen to foster art and other good causes.Then some curious cheque transactions and the discovery of six mysterious paintings in Vizard's personal records triggered investigations into Vizard's former bookkeeper, Roy Hilliard, who, it turned out, had swindled close to $3 million from Vizard over several years. But Hilliard knew lots of secrets about his old boss, and when faced with criminal charges he hit back hard, accusing the businessman of illegal share deals and more. He portrayed Vizard as a master of deception whose public image was a charade; Hilliard depicted himself as merely the businessman's dupe. Vizard, however, saw it very differently.In this compelling story of Vizard's fall from grace, Leonie Wood seeks to uncover the man behind the public persona, and to answer the question on the lips of many: why did he do it? Was it greed, audacity or sheer stupidity? And what do we really know about Steve Vizard?The Memory Room

The Memory Room

By Christopher Koch

buy_buttonWhat is a spy? Are they born, or are they made?'
With these words, Vincent Austin analyses his future occupation. Some spies are made,he says, but his kind is born. He is devoted to secrecy for its own sake.

Vincent is orphaned early, and his boyhood in Tasmania is spent with an elderly aunt.His fascination with secrecy and espionage - and much else besides - is shared to an uncanny degree by Erika Lange, daughter of a post-World War German immigrant. She too has lost her mother, and she and Vincent see themselves as twin spirits, inhabiting a shared, platonic world of fantasy and ritual.

At University, Vincent aims to enter Foreign Affairs - an ambition shared by his easygoing friend Derek Bradley. However, in his final year, Vincent is recruited by ASIS - Australia's overseas secret intelligence service - and his adolescent dream becomes reality. Erika becomes a journalist, eventually entering the overseas service as a press officer. She is an attractive and magnetic woman, but her emotional life is chaotic. She, Vincent and Bradley meet again in 1982, when they are in their thirties, and have all been posted to the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Here, Erika and Bradley begin an affair which is ultimately doomed to fail. At the same time,Vincent attempts an espionage coup which ends in disaster for himself and Bradley. Both men are expelled from China, and are based in Canberra, where Vincent is confined to the ASIS Registry: the 'memory room' of the book's title. This is the year of Star Wars, and the final phase of the Cold War. Erika, also returning to Australia, becomes a television journalist, and enjoys a period of national prominence. The fantasies of youth have become reality for Erika and Vincent, and lead to a tragic climax for them both. It is left to Bradley, who inherits Vincent's diaries, to contemplate their fate.

Although The Memory Room deals with espionage, its aims go far beyond those of a thriller. A psychological study of a brilliant but eccentric secret intelligence operative, it is also an exploration of the mystical nature of secrecy itself, and of the consequences of a shared obsession.

take me to fishpond | take me to ebooks | top | home page | The Spare Room

The Spare Room

By Helen Garner

buy_buttonHelen has little idea what lies ahead when she offers her spare room to an old friend of fifteen years. Nicola has arrived in the city for treatment for cancer. Sceptical of the medical establishment, placing all her faith in an alternative health centre, Nicola is determined to find her own way to deal with her illness, regardless of the advice that Helen can offer. In the weeks that follow, Nicola's battle against her cancer will turn not only her own life upside down but also those of everyone around her.

Reviews

'The Spare Room is a perfect novel, imbued with all Garner's usual clear-eyed grace but with some other magnificent dimension that hides between the lines of her simple conversational voice. How is it that she can enter this heart-breaking territory - the dying friend who comes to stay - and make it not only bearable, but glorious, and funny? There is no answer except: Helen Garner is a great writer; The Spare Room is a great book.' Peter Carey

About the Author

Born in 1942, Helen Garner lives in Australia. She has written both fiction and non-fiction, and also journalism, and her writing has been nominated for and won many awards. This is her first novel for fifteen years.

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